This morning I am reading about one woman's response to her husband with harsh words and an unwillingness to listen to the Holy Spirit's prompting to be kind. How often that has played out in my own life because I cared more about justifying my own actions than preventing what the other author called "collateral damage in her marriage"! My hurtful words and stewing over how I think things should have gone does nothing to bring us closer together, to share the burdens of this life, or to join together with him to accomplish something in joint cooperation. If I take the time to remember the identity I have been given at so high a price: that I am a Daughter of the King of kings, a grateful and blessed subject in an eternal Kingdom of Grace and Unconditional Love, gifted to me by Jesus' sacrifice on the cross, then should I not reflect that King's Grace, Love and Forgiveness toward others? and most especially those I hold so dear?
Thank You Jesus for this reminder! I needed to hear this today. You DO have our best interests at heart when You tell us what's right and wrong, not to keep us from "fun", but to keep us away from things that will hurt us! Holding a grudge and making that other person "pay" for what "hurt our feelings" or "brought out the worst in us" by not forgiving them does have a certain amount of self satisfaction in it. But the longer we internalize that bitterness, the more we are consumed, literally! by depressive chemicals that breakdown our own bodies! Forgiving someone who we feel did us wrong isn't "letting them off the hook" - It's setting US Free from the turmoil inside! And it is reflecting the Grace and Love God showers us with daily on those around us who truly need those same reminders of their worth, value and potential because of Whose they are as well! Lord, please help me be quick to forgive, slow to anger, slow to speak, and put a guard over my mouth so that I don't damage others with hurtful words! Help me instead to build others up, celebrate their successes, and walk with them toward You!